Here’s this year’s list of Christmas gifts, which, if you’re thinking about bestowing any of this largesse on ol’ moi, I wish you’d reconsider. Make a donation to the public library instead. Or to the American Cancer Society. But not to the 700 Club. Though you can send the 700 Club a Christmas card with this seasonal message: “You people ought to be ashamed.”
Thanks for the one last year, but I don’t need any more petrified dinosaur dung.
Don’t think I could find a good use for a Last Supper lunchbox.
Or the genuine monk’s robe.
The life-size replica of Napoleon’s right hand.
The toilet seat with the embedded fishing lures.
The sterling silver phallus pendant on a chain, called the Dick Chainy.
The stainless steel tongue cleaner.
The microwave corn steamer.
The edible tortilla bowls.
The foam leg elevator.
The NRA action figure that shoots first and asks questions later. Well, no, it shoots first and then makes these comments: “Ha! Gotcha! Stupid Varmint!”
The bathroom golf set that lets you practice putting while you sit all broken-hearted.
The Nascar afghan with a picture of either Dale Earnhardt or Dale Earnhardt Jr. on it.
The white noise sound machine.
The beer clock.
The Big Rig alarm clock that either honks or revs you awake.
The pants locally advertised at $108 for “men with no butt.”
The $500 personal beverage vendor.
One of the original paintings ($400 and up) by the Connecticut terrapin named Koopa.
The $100 plastic illuminated 5-by-10-inch Graceland collectible — “the very first sculptural collectible anywhere to feature Elvis’s Meditation Garden.”
The mantle clock that plays Xmas carols till you just want to scream.
The Talking Toilet Tissue Roll. (An example of its chitchat: “Would you like a receipt for your deposit?”)
The ramp for helping your dog or cat onto the bed or into your car.
The hotel room special edition of the barking dog door alarm.
The framed country outhouse prints.
A gift certificate to the restaurant with the all-bald or all-combover eat free on Thursday special.
The Retro Smoking Donkey cigarette dispenser.
The Singing Mountain Goat.
The underwear-shaped Farting Key Chain.
The blue satin holiday wear for Jewish dogs.
A copy of the book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jesus.
The rooster and his harem lawn ornaments.
The handy-dandy nose-hair extraction kit.
The swimming pool ping-pong set.
The wireless shoe-driers.
The Ron Artest doll that, if you pour beer on it, will go into the stands and beat up your friends.
The towel-wrapped Nicollette Sheridan doll that will proposition you in the locker room before a big game.
The didgereedoo pre-played by an authentic Down Under aborigine.
The sinfully rich fudge forgivingly made by Oregon monks.
The Pope-on-a-Rope soap.
The Naughty Mooning Elf ornament with one of Santa’s helpers showing his opinion of working conditions.
The bacon-scented car air freshener.
The plastic cow that poops jelly beans.
The giant inflatable costumed illuminated plastic pink flamingos.
The Dragon Blow Gun from Borneo.
The Memorable Moments of the 2004 Presidential Debates video.
The Redneck Horn that shouts vulgar insults, including Vice President Dick Chainy’s favorite, at other drivers.
The Three Stooges Talking Bottle Opener.
The package of 15 fake bullet holes.
The totally new and improved rubber vomit.
The Fart Candy.
The money-back fountain-of-youth basin from Tibet.
The animated singing slot machine. (“Born to Lose,” “Cry Me a River,” etc.)
The hall mirror guaranteed to correct any Feng Shui distortions in any home.
The berry-flavored Salem cigarettes.
The Diet Piggy that oinks when you open the refrigerator door. The pitchfork head massager. The genuine imitation fur commode lid cover. The Last Supper bud vase. The pewter Cross of Nails. The Lawrence Welk CD of the World’s Greatest Polkas. The shrimp de-veiner.
The guaranteed painless eyebrow shaper. The eyelid lifter cream. The spongeholder that no home should be without. The bullet blender. The quickest-ever melon slicer. The skin-firming cream made from yams. The membership in a vomitorium. The pineapple slicer. The cherry depitter. The Monkey Bar banana ripener. The carrot curler. The sweater depiller.
Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.